Santa Anita News
STABLE NOTES BY MIKE WILLMAN
. VALENZUELA OFF MOUNTS SUNDAY, HOPES TO RETURN THURSDAY
. O’NEILL OPTIMISTIC ABOUT QUICK ENOUGH IN SUNSHINE SPRINT
. CAL-BRED CARACORTADO RETURNS TO TURF ON SATURDAY
. PALOS VERDES WINNER EUROEARS COULD BE HEADING TO DUBAI
VALENZUELA PLANNING ON THURSDAY RETURN
Veteran jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who was thrown to the turf following the start of yesterday’s $75,000 added Sweet Life Stakes, appeared to be uninjured following a post race examination, but was forced to take off of his nine mounts Sunday as a result of the mishap.
According to his agent, Tom Knust, Valenzuela hopes to be able to ride Thursday, but will rest the next couple days and will seek additional medical attention if necessary.
“He was probably 50/50 to ride today but he just didn’t want to push it,” Knust said.
“He went down and hit pretty hard. Yesterday when he left First Aid, he hadn’t injured anything and didn’t hurt his neck or his ribs. He just felt sore. This morning when he woke up he was going to try to come out and ride today but his body was too sore. He just couldn’t think his body would give 100% so he’s just going to take it easy the next couple days and we’ll be back Thursday. If he feels he needs to see the doctor, he will.”
Valenzuela, 48, is currently third in the Santa Anita jockey standings, with 19 winners, including two stakes victories, through 19 days of racing.
O’NEILL LETS IT ALL RIDE ON QUICK ENOUGH
Trainer Doug O’Neill is optimistic about Quick Enough’s chances in Saturday’s Sunshine Millions Turf Sprint.
“He’s doing fantastic.” O’Neill said Sunday morning at Clockers’ Corner. “He breezed yesterday, came out of it in great shape and we entered today with Pat Valenzuela.”
Quick Enough is O’Neill’s lone entry in the ninth annual Sunshine Millions, a bicoastal festival of racing that is comprised of races written exclusively for Thoroughbreds bred in California and Florida.
“I wish we had more but he’s the only one we have. I would trade places with maybe Cost of Freedom but other than that I wouldn’t trade places with anybody. I like the way we’re going and he’s training great.”
Six races worth $1.8 million in purse money will be run on Sunshine Millions Day, three at Santa Anita and three at its sister track Gulfstream Park.
Santa Anita features the $200,000 Sprint at six furlongs; the $300,000 Distaff at 1 1/6 miles; and the $300,000 Turf at 1 1/8 miles.
Gulfstream presents the $200,000 Filly & Mare Sprint at six furlongs; the $300,000 Filly & Mare Turf at 1 1/8 miles; and the $500,000 Classic at 1 1/8 miles.
CARACORTADO RETURNS TO THE TURF SATURDAY
California-bred Caracortado heads up Saturday’s Sunshine Millions Turf at 1 1/8 miles having worked 5 furlongs yesterday for trainer Mike Machowsky.
“He’s great,” Machowsky said. “He worked yesterday and flew home down the lane. He looks great this morning so we’re good to go. My horse is doing well right now.”
Caracortdo tried his luck on dirt in the Grade I Malibu Stakes on opening day at seven furlongs—finishing third.
Machowsky welcomes the change in surface. “I’m kind of anxious to get him back on the grass,” he said.
BAFFERT WEIGHING OPTIONS WITH EUROEARS
At odds of 9-1, Euroears ran away with Saturday’s 59th running of the Grade II, $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap, defeating 2-5 favorite Smiling Tiger, who finished a well-beaten third.
“He looked good,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “He’s a little tired this morning, but he’s good.”
Asked if he had any plans for Euroears yet Baffert replied, “It’s a little early but I think one of the options I have is looking seriously at Dubai, so maybe take him there. These sprinters you know, they need time in between races so that might be good for him.”
FINISH LINES: Trainer John Sadler said, “We’re ready to go,” for the Santa Monica Stakes, after Switch worked six furlongs Sunday morning in 1:12.40 with Joel Rosario aboard…Other notable works included Mike Machowsky’s Titian, who drilled five furlongs in 58.80…Dakota Phone went five furlongs in 1:01.40 for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer…Excessive Passion, in preparation for the Sunshine Millions Sprint, worked a half mile from the gate in 45 flat for trainer Jeff Bond.